New plans submitted for controversial coastal home in Beadnell

Amended plans have been entered to demolish and replace a coastal home at Beadnell, following refusal of an earlier set

How the proposed replacement would look at Link House, Beadnell
How the proposed replacement would look at Link House, Beadnell

Amended plans have been lodged to demolish and replace a coastal home following the rejection of a previous scheme.

Ged and Norma Donnelly have submitted a revised bid to knock down Link House at Beadnell and replace it with a modern property, after the last was thrown out by a government planning inspector having initially been rejected by Northumberland County Council.

The applicants say the new look scheme was based on feedback from the failed project and that it “represents a positive addition to the landscape.”

To date, 33 letters of support have been lodged with the council.

However, 60 letters of objection have been submitted with some residents claiming the “very presence of a contemporary edifice, regardless of architectural merit, would be totally out of place in this historic, natural, fragile and beautiful location.”

The former agricultural worker’s single-storey stone cottage is on the dunes on the road between Beadnell and Seahouses, with private access to the beach.

The property is within the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the North Northumberland Heritage Coast, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation.

Link House at Beadnell how it looks today
Link House at Beadnell how it looks today
 

The home was built in 1903 and has been owned by the couple for the last three years.

The Donnellys’ previous proposal to replace it was with a modern, larger home generated 29 letters of objection from residents, while the Northumberland Coast AONB partnership, Northumberland Wildlife Trust and Beadnell Parish Council also voiced their opposition.

Objectors claimed the new home would spoil views of the AONB and an area of open countryside.

Three letters of support were initially penned and that number rose to 11, while statutory consultees Natural England, the Environment Agency and the county council’s ecologist did not object.

The authority’s north area planning committee was advised to approve the bid but councillors voted by a margin of six to one to refuse. The couple then appealed.

However, inspector David Cullingford dismissed the challenge. He said “such a large dwelling” would appear “obtrusive,” given its “isolation amidst this relatively empty coastal landscape.”

Now the Donnellys have submitted a new application.

Their architect Michael Bolam, of Studio-SP Architects, said: “The current proposal was designed taking into account the feedback received from the planning appeal.

“The previous proposal was for a much larger building, that received the backing of the council planners, although was ultimately rejected at appeal.

“Studio-SP Architects understood, that a successful proposal should be more harmonious with its surroundings, by respecting scale, height and massing.

“We believe we have applied those qualities to the current proposal.”

Jim Norris, of the Save Beadnell Association, said: “This latest application is a further attempt to build a house in a locality which has more restrictions in place than probably any other area in Britain.

“The proposal is to demolish the small cottage and replace it with a modernistic dwelling which is two storey, much larger by comparison and, however you look at it, ruinous of its environment.

“The architects have gone to some trouble in trying to make it sympathetic to its surroundings but what they don’t seem to realise is that the very presence of a contemporary edifice, regardless of architectural merit, would be totally out of place in this historic, natural, fragile and beautiful location.”

The council’s North area committee recently agreed to hold a site visit.

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